Sad news to report from the world of black metal. Multi-instrumentalist and Astarte frontwoman Maria 'Tristessa' Kolokouri has passed away after a battle with cancer at the young age of 37.

A pioneer for female musicians in black and death metal, the Greek songstress played bass, guitar, keyboards and handled vocal duties for Astarte for well over a decade. The band released five full-length albums, the latest being 2007's 'Demonized.'

Though Kolokouri was best known for her work in Astarte, she also shined while playing for Vorphalack, Insected, Obscure Natus, Profane Serenity and Lloth, the last of which would later become Astarte.

Maria Kolokouri's passing was confirmed in a statement by husband Nick Malis:

Maria, she's left from this world.

You are leaving a lot behind and my soul is in pain.

You are a special person, you are my wife. I will always adore you, our son and everybody that they love you. I will always honor you and you will never be forgotten.

Until we meet again, my love, I will kiss you from inside of my soul.

Dimmu Borgir frontman Shagrath, who appeared on the Astarte song 'The Ring (of Sorrow),' also memorialized the female pioneer. "Best wishes on your soulside journey," says Shagrath. "It was an honour to work with you."

Help celebrate the life of Maria 'Tristessa' Kolokouri by listening to Astarte's 'The Ring (of Sorrow)' below.

Astarte, 'The Ring (of Sorrow)'